Day 4- Taking A Better Look

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Now that we are developing better habits, what are these habits going to do for us? I for one am becoming very aware of what I eat and what is in it. It helps a great deal that I make almost all of the food that I eat and that that food is very basic, that is, not processed in any way. Raw chicken, raw vegetables, of course the sauces and dressings are premade but you draw a line for time and your own ability. I personally would love to make my own salad dressings but I have not one clue how to start doing that just yet. I said ‘yet’. The reason I would make my own dressing is not to reduce calories per say, more to change the type of fat and really, the taste. After all, if I like it, I am going to eat it.

Let’s talk about dietary fat for a moment. Fat is an important part of a healthy diet, the fat that you eat allows your body to function properly. Without going into specifics let me say this about what dietary fat does NOT do. When you eat food with fat in it, that fat does not pass through the stomach lining as fat, enter the blood stream as fat and travel to your hips/butt/abs and get deposited there unchanged. I am no expert, so I am going to stop there, just don’t fear fat, that’s all I’m saying.

BMR-
Basic Metabolic Rate. This is the rate at which your body processes the calories in the food that we eat. Below you will find a calculator that will take your height, weight, age and gender and give a basic number of calories that your body needs every day. But wait, there’s more. Once you have that number, go to the link that’s right below the form you just filled out and do the Harris/Benedict calculation, which takes into consideration your level of physical activity to more acurately predict your daily calorie needs.
http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/

This number is just a guide. It was developed by people doing research that have never met you so it is at best, a guess. Calorically speaking, one pound of fat contains 3500 calories, if you eat 3500 calories less than your body needs to maintain your current weight, you should weigh one pound less. Here is a better idea of why your daily weight number is really just a number. You eat 3500 calories less, your weight did not go down 1 pound, why not?
1)Water retention: You should be drinking between a half and one gallon of water a day. Your bodies biological machine uses water for everything, energy production, food synthesis, it is the oil for the engine that is you. When you dehydrate, it takes more energy for the heart to pump blood, other processes become more difficult, etc. Hydration is not perfect, water in equals water out for the most part but there is no perfect way to tell when that time is.
2)Solid food elimination. Enough said.
3)Muscle building: When you force adaptation through exercise, your body builds/rebuilds muscle fiber, which is considerably more dense than fat. If you eat less and are more active you may gain weight even though you are consuming less calories because the fat you are burning is being replaced by muscle fiber.

My breakfast, lunch and dinner breaks down like this:

Chicken Omelette
6.25 oz. chicken thigh meat, roasted(354 cal.)
4 eggs(288 cal.)
1 tsp. coconut oil(40 cal.)
12 oz. 2% milk(183 cal.)
total 865 cal.
Just something easy that also gets rid of pesky leftovers in the fridge, win/win.

Salad for lunch
5 oz. spinach (35 cal.)
4 oz. tuna, canned (90 cal.)
2 Tbs. parmesan cheese (60 cal.)
4 Tbs. ranch dressing (260 cal.)
total 445 cal.

Lazy dinner
chicken, peppers and rice(leftovers)(447 cal.)
This is from the recipe the other day, tastes great the second time as well.

I spent an hour in the gym doing upper body movements. I call any day without squats a light day. This workout is designed to preexhaust the muscles that assist the pecs in the bench press, so that I can get an adaptation response with a lighter weight and fully work the arms and shoulders at the same time.

3 sets 10 reps French Curl 65#
3 sets 10 reps Reverse Curls 65#
3 sets 10 reps Bicep Curl 65#
Main workout
5 sets 5 reps Bench Press 135#

This took around an hour, got a good sweat on, it was easily 100 degrees in the gym.

Try this, you can hate me later.
Take a one mile walk and after you are warmed up:
Lunges 3 sets of 10 reps(5 each leg)
Step forward and kneel with the rear leg until the knee just touches the floor. Recover and repeat on the other side. Do not try and do all of these at once, take at least a minute rest between sets.

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Day 2- A New Body The Hard Way, Marking The Trail

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Keeping track of the things that you do and the foods that you eat are important to building new, better habits. To use myself as an example, I put my lists out there, not as some shining beacon of perfection but rather as the tool that it is meant to be and to show you how to use it to your advantage.

My foods yesterday:
Roasted chicken thighs, 14.35oz.(847 cal.)
popcorn w/butter, 187g.(984 cal.)
tuna salad w/ crackers, (925 cal.)
2 bananas, (210)

The first thing I would like to point out is, all of the food was prepared in my kitchen, no microwave popcorn was harmed in the making of this list. Chicken thighs are cheap, they have plenty of moisture and don’t dry out in the refrigerator. I get thighs in 5lb. packages and cook them all at once, roasted in the oven, never fried. I like to mix it up with chicken, this batch was seasoned with some hoisin sauce and a little extra spicy barbeque sauce but you can use anything really.

One thing you are learning with me right now is how many calories are in popcorn! It used to be my go to snack until now. Writing down the calories for the first time really drives home the point of this list, not so much eating only certain foods but being able to see in black and white what the calorie impact of each food is on your body. I’m still going to eat popcorn, not every day, and probably not with the butter either.

As well as writing down your food, make a note of your fluid intake, just to make sure you are drinking enough water. Mine was 3 qts. water and a couple of diet cokes, don’t judge me.

I have a small digital food scale I got at WalMart for $15 to measure my food, and I use a couple of different websites to look up calories:

http://www.calorieking.com/
http://nutritiondata.self.com/

…anything you can’t find there, google ‘calories from food’ or go to the mfg. website. You don’t have to break everything down to weights and calories right now, just look at the foods you are eating and see where you can make changes, it is a marathon, not a sprint.

As far as exercise goes, yesterday was my ‘rest’ day, I try to maintain a day on, day off schedule. I did manage to take my bestest buddies for a dog walk, 1 mile=152 calories burned, sunshine, fresh and happy dogs=bonus! To track the exercise that you do you can go to one of these websites to figure out how you did;

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/exercise/lookup
http://calorielab.com/burned/

To fill up the blank part of yourpage today, think about things you enjoy doing, or would enjoy doing, walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, etc. Use this list when you feel bored and don’t know what to do, maybe one of these items will bring you an exciting day.

Day 1- A New Body The Hard Way, By Taking Action!

If you have come to the realization that you have to make a change in the way you manage your own health and are ready to start now then you need a few things. Pen and paper, a small notebook will do or a cheap spiral they sell in school supplies.

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Make a small square in the top corner of the first page of your notebook and write your weight down there, you will do this every day. The purpose here is to develop the habit of weighing yourself every day, not that it is important to know what you weigh, but it is important to build habits. We are going to begin small and add things as we go. I say we because I am doing it with you, I need to develop good habits, too.

The rest of the page-
This is where you write down everything you eat and drink all day, come back to the notebook as much as you need to and be as complete as possible. You can’t change a bad habit until you realize that you have one. Don’t cheat here and leave stuff off, that can be of no help whatsoever. You will also write down all of your activities here, the ones that are active that is. If you mow the yard, that’s cardio, write down how long it took. If you walk somewhere, write down how far. Try and add a walk to your activity each day this week, even if it is just around the block, then write it down. Concentrate on doing these two things every single day, do them for one week.

Think actively-
When you wake up, get up. Don’t lie in bed and try to go back to sleep, it is exhausting. Do something around the house, tidy up, clean some dishes, pet the dog or cat, just don’t lay back down. Some things that you might ordinarily put off during the day don’t take as long to get done as you might imagine if you just jump in and do it. If you can get one thing done in that period of time that you would normally waste rolling around trying to get back to sleep your day got so much easier. One less load of laundry, one sink of dishes, tidy up the bathroom even catching up on email or surfing reddit, you are training yourself to get active and stay active during the day. This is a good thing.

OK, enough. Good job today, see you tomorrow. There will be a new post and some new information. Take it slow, do things well.

Don’t take my word for it…

I like to think that I make pretty good decisions, I am not an expert on anything but I know quite a few and I am not shy about asking for help when I realize that I could use some. When I started into fitness I was really jumping into a big pool, I needed help with just about everything.

Thankfully the fitness community is a very giving, social group, there are plenty of resources if you take a small amount of time to find them. On my journey so far I have made a few friends and found out quite a bit of information that has really helped me.

Firstly, I am a CrossFitter, I drank the kool-aid and I will be WOD-ing until I drop. This community has some super minds working all the time and here is a short list: Olympic weightlifting, Mike Burgener, Diane Fu, Mobility, Dr. Kelly Starrett, Gymnastics, Carl Paoli, Strength, Rob Orlando, to name a few. On the web there is the team at California Strength, Littlest Lim, Shaheen, Scott Hisaka, Spencer Moorman and others, they post their workouts on Youtube on a regular basis, very cool to watch their progress and check out their programs. Mike Bledsoe and his bunch over at Barbell Shrugged does a weekly podcast that drops every Wednesday if memory serves, they have expert guests and a really entertaining and informative show, definite don’t miss stuff there.

Glenn Pendlay and the boys at MDUSA also post heavy on Youtube, that is where at least some of your future Olympic stars are coming from. One of my favorites is Jon North and the Attitude Nation (Attitude Nation Salute!!!) a super lifter and good freind of Donny Shankle. I hope this little list can help you at least as much as it has helped me, good luck and good lifting!!